Whether you own a food truck, restaurant, bar or just a counter-service restaurant, you need to implement the right POS system.
The right restaurant POS system will make it easier for your employees to accept orders, process payments, track orders and inventory and send you real-time and accurate reports on the business.
In this regard, iPad restaurant points of sale (POS) systems are preferred for their enhanced ease of use, affordability and convenience. However, you still need to choose the iPad restaurant POS system that is best suited for your business.
To save you the headache, here are 10 of the best iPad restaurant POS systems available today.
- 1 Comparing the Best iPad Restaurant POS Systems for 2020
- 2 1. TouchBistro POS – Best Overall
- 3 2. Toast POS – Best iPad POS for Customer Service
- 4 3. Revel Systems POS - The Most Advanced
- 5 4. Talech POS – The Most Affordable
- 6 5. Lightspeed Restaurant POS – Best Value for iPad POS
- 7 6. Square Restaurant POS – Best for Small Restaurants
- 8 7. Breadcrumb POS – Best Mobile System
- 9 8. ShopKeep POS – Most Robust Back Office Tools
- 10 9. LAVU POS – Most Intuitive
- 11 10. Clover POS - Totally Unique Features
- 12 Things You Need to Know Before Choosing an iPad Restaurant POS
- 13 Our Final Verdict
Comparing the Best iPad Restaurant POS Systems for 2020
1. TouchBistro POS – Best Overall
TouchBistro is a restaurant POS that is designed to run solely on iPads that may be synchronized through a local network in your establishment. This system is suited for bars, cafes and restaurants. The suitability of the system for such application is due to its industry-specific features, including:
Would you like to incorporate self-service kiosks for your customers in the restaurant? Well, TouchBistro is one of the best iPad restaurant POS systems that will help you achieve this. The Kiosk capability offered by this software is relatively easy to use, and features customizable menus.
From the tabs on top of the display, the customers can easily choose whether to view the entire menu or just specific items under various categories. This feature uses specialized add-ons to guide your customers through the process.
The feature also allows you to accept cash as well as card payments through the Kiosks.
As compared to other iPad POS systems in the market, TouchBistro offers more advanced payment processing tools. For instance, this feature allows you to process multiple payment options, including gift cards, cash, check and cards, customize guest checks and bills for each customer and void multiple items simultaneously.
With the ‘Fast Bar’ feature, you will be able to close orders and complete payments quickly and with ease.
What We Like About TouchBistro POS
- Offers loyalty programs
- Capable of accepting multi-tender payments
- Features Kiosk capabilities
- Offers in-depth reporting capabilities
- Features an elegant, intuitive and simple design
- Ideal for small as well as large sized restaurants
- You have to incur additional costs to get the loyalty programs
2. Toast POS – Best iPad POS for Customer Service
When it comes to affordability, versatility and exceptional customer service, Toast is one of the best restaurant POS systems you can get today. You will also love the fact that the provider offers affordable payment processing.
With regards to versatility, the systems can run on iOS as well as Android devices. Other than that, the system is packed with a horde of industry-specific features and capabilities, including:
In addition to being able to print hard paper copy receipts, the system also allows you to send digital receipts. This may be accomplished through email address or text messages. This option also allows you to build a database of your customers in the POS.
In this regard, the POS will automatically store such customer information as email address, phone number and items ordered. Such information will come in handy whenever you are creating targeted marketing campaigns.
When it comes to reporting, Toast does not just offer you generic reporting capabilities. The reporting tools offered by this system are tailor made for restaurants. To begin with, the system will offer you real-time summary of reports that is robust and comprehensive.
Additionally, you can also get a great range of detailed reports on your business with this system, ranging from product mix reports to labor and sales reports.
What We Like About Toast POS
- Offers Toast Go for tableside ordering and payment processing
- Superior customer service
- Compatible with Android and iOS devices
- Compact, all-in-one restaurant POS
- Features an intuitive interface
- You have to pay more to get add-ons
- The system is locked to credit card processing by Toast
3. Revel Systems POS - The Most Advanced
Soon after its introduction to the market, Revel was rated the best iPad Business App of the Year at the Macworld/ iWorld 2012 event. Over the years, the POS system has won several other awards, including the Gold Award for Top iPad POS Systems by Business News Daily and the Best Enterprise Technology during the SFBT Tech Awards.
Currently, the system is rated one of the most advanced and feature-loaded restaurant POS for merchants of various sizes. Some of the features that make this system superior include:
With this system, managing all payment aspects is rather easy. In this regard, the settings tab of the POS presents you with all the cash management capabilities you need, such as under/over till and batch processing.
This feature also offers you quick-view reports on such payment aspects as time management, items sold, as well as gift certificate, cash, card and check payments for the night.
Intelligent Reporting Suite
Restaurant owners currently using Revel POS can attest that its reporting capabilities are rather extensive. The system is designed to automatically feed you with a myriad of reports on your business, including sales summaries, transaction details, PLU reports, ingredients sold and available/used gift cards.
What We Like About Revel POS
- Offers Kiosk capabilities
- Features a kitchen display system
- Equipped with a digital menu board
- Comes with secure and safer servers
- Offers delivery management capabilities
- You may find the setup to be a bit complex
4. Talech POS – The Most Affordable
If affordability, simple design and an advanced feature suite are your main considerations, Talech POS will be a great choice. Though relatively affordable, this system offers advanced inventory features and the ability to integrate with almost any payment processor.
The in-house marketing tools offered by the system are some of the aspects that set Talech apart from its competitors. Most of the hardware options by this provider are sold in tailor-made bundles to suit different business needs.
Regardless of the hardware bundle you buy, the system will offer you all the restaurant POS features you need, such as online ordering, inventory management, loyalty programs, reporting, purchase orders and employee management.
What We Like About Talech POS
- Comparatively affordable
- Offers a series of advanced restaurant features
- Updates constantly
- Features advanced purchase order capabilities
- Offers online ordering capabilities
- The offline capability of the system is not stellar
- Its reporting capabilities are not so advanced
5. Lightspeed Restaurant POS – Best Value for iPad POS
Lightspeed (LR) Restaurant POS is one of the best cloud-based iPad systems today, with regards to a simple, intuitive design and a rich feature suit. In addition to the basic restaurant POS features, this system offers you a wide range of tailor-made options.
With this POS, you will also get access to a myriad of side capabilities you will find useful for your business. For instance, the system will offer you one of the best mobile ordering features in the industry today.
Other features you will find useful with LR include ingredient tracking, employee management, timed events, modifiers, kitchen name printing, loyalty programs and the ability to include product photos.
What We Like About Lightspeed POS
- Compatible with a myriad of third-party integrations
- Offers a myriad of industry-specific features
- Comparatively affordable
- Relatively easy to implement and use
- Compatible with several credit card processors
- Offers a timed events functionality
- Can work offline
- You cannot process payments while on the offline mode
6. Square Restaurant POS – Best for Small Restaurants
Square Restaurant POS is one of the renowned systems you should consider implementing in your restaurant today. Just like other small restaurant owners, you probably are looking for an affordable option, right? Well, you will find Square to be an affordable alternative in the long run.
To begin with, the software and hardware by this provider are relatively affordable. Additionally, the provider offers affordable credit card processing. In this regard, you will be charged 2.6 percent + 10 cents per swipe, tap or dip. Other admirable features of this system include:
Thanks to a partnership between Square and Caviar, you can now set up pick-up and delivery options for your customers. This feature allows you to customize the different order types in the restaurant, such as Pick Up, For Here and Delivery orders.
This Square feature is specifically designed to boost your profits. In this regard, the system will allow you to create auto gratuity prompts for your customers. This option will also allow you to set specific percentages for the relatively large groups.
What We Like About Square POS
- Features delivery options
- Cost efficient
- Backed by a Square App Market
- Offers basic as well as advanced restaurant POS features
- Features a simple and intuitive interface
- You may experience funds holds occasionally
7. Breadcrumb POS – Best Mobile System
Get your business an iPad POS system that can accommodate any menu size. As you will come to learn, this system is exclusively meant for use on iPads. This makes it a great choice for mobile ordering and payment processing in restaurants.
Rather than getting lost in your restaurant menu, it pays to pay attention to your customers’ needs. As such, this system ensures that your staff does not lose valuable time searching the menu. With this system, you will find it easier to locate various menu items and fire them off right away.
Fewer taps, easier check management, exceed guest expectations. Despite its simple design, the POS offers some advanced restaurant features. For example, you can transfer, merge or split checks and even split between card and cash payments.
What We Like About Breadcrumb POS
- Easy to customize menu with minimal taps
- Designed with restaurant employees in mind
- Offers extensive reporting capabilities
- Incorporates online ordering
- Comes with Upserve HQ back office tools
- Supports remote printing
- Comes with Upserve Live mobile App
- You may experience occasional outages
8. ShopKeep POS – Most Robust Back Office Tools
Despite its recent shift from a flat-rate pricing plan to a quote-based pricing structure, ShopKeep still offers a great value for your money. Over the years, this iPad cloud-based restaurant POS has been proven improve restaurant efficiency.
This may be attributed to the unique blend of dynamic features as well as intuitive design of the software. According to the thousands of restaurant owners already using this POS in their businesses, ShopKeep is fast and highly responsive. So, what are some of the unique capabilities of this POS?
While the POS software has all the restaurant features you need, you will also love the feature-rich back office offered by the provider. With ShopKeep back office, you will have access to a system that automatically stores such data as employees’ time, inventory, customer information and transactions.
The feature also offers you several reporting options to help you analyze your business data. You will also get responsive customer support via email and Live chat.
As you may have discovered, not all restaurant POS systems offer tax features. With the Tax Rates feature, you can now preset different tax rates on the various menu items with the ShopKeep POS system.
You may also use this tool to set a default tax rate to all items or assign specific tax rates to certain menu items.
What We Like About ShopKeep POS
- The Pocket App may be used on iOS and Android devices
- Offers multi-store capabilities
- Comes with a feature-rich back office
- Features inbuilt customer management capabilities
- Backed by superior customer support
- Does not support card processing when offline
9. LAVU POS – Most Intuitive
The first thing that will draw you to this POS system is its unique, sleek and easy-to-use interface. The app will give you a modern, shinny appeal the first time you interact with it. You will also find it to be rather fluid when it comes to execution.
You can access the backend range of features offered by this provider through a web browser from any internet enabled device. Another aspect you will come to like about this product is the level of customization it offers; with optional and forced modifiers.
With a great range of industry-specific features and capabilities, the system has been proven to be suited for restaurants and food trucks. As a matter of fact, Lavu is currently being used by more than 20,000 restaurants in more than 88 countries.
What We Like About Lavu POS
- Offers multiple order taking layouts
- Customizable menus and table layouts
- Offers full cash management capabilities
- Offers end-to-end encryption and is EMV compliant
- Supports a horde of integrations
- Updates constantly
- You have to pay more to get gift card capabilities
- You may experience occasional software glitches
10. Clover POS - Totally Unique Features
Like some of the best iPad Restaurant POS systems, Clover has its unique set of benefits and downsides. Though not perfect, this system excels in several ways. When used as a stand-alone POS system, Clover will offer you basic restaurant POS capabilities.
However, you may supplement the system with the vast array of features offered by the provider on Clover’s App Marketplace. So, what makes clover POS different from other iPad POS systems?
The provider offers you an efficient ecommerce platform that has been designed to integrate seamlessly with the POS system. With this feature, you will be able to manage your online store from anywhere. To start using this service, you may use the Clover online store to develop a website or have one professionally developed for you.
This platform may be accessed from any internet-enabled device and supports multiple payment options. The platform features tools to help you customize your online menus in accordance to your restaurant layout.
As you will come to learn, clover offers more advanced inventory capabilities; as compared to other iPad POS systems. This feature allows you to download inventory spreadsheets and open them in multiple formats. With this feature, you can also describe inventory items with such variants as size and color.
What We Like About Clover POS
- Allows you to manage employee permissions
- Backed by an App market
- Features an appealing and easy-to-use app interface
- Relatively easy to master and use
- Offers a range of advanced features
- Cannot separate payment processing from the POS system.
Things You Need to Know Before Choosing an iPad Restaurant POS
Do you currently own an iPad or are just looking for a restaurant POS system that is lightweight and offers you advanced mobility? The best iPad restaurant POS systems today will offer you the best of these aspects. However, there are hundreds of iPad POS systems to choose from in the market.
As you may be aware, the choice of the right POS system, iPad-based or otherwise, can be a daunting task. You may think of a restaurant point of sale software as the operating system that makes everything run smoothly and more efficiently.
Most of the leading iPad POS providers are currently basing their products and services on cloud-based, mobile technology. Well, this is a good thing, but there are still several things you need to consider before making this choice. Discussed below are some of the main aspects you need to consider, in this regard:
Accuracy and Efficiency
Even the best performing staff in your business are bound to make mistakes from time to time. What will happen if you had a POS system that is not all that accurate? To avoid this disastrous eventuality in your business, you need to invest in a system that is renowned for accuracy.
With the right iPad restaurant POS, most of the processes, such as sales reporting, payroll, inventory and dietary restrictions, will be automated. This not only improves the accuracy of the system; it has been proven to enhance the efficiency at which restaurants operate.
With regards to efficiency, you also need to ensure that your preferred system is more efficient at multitasking. This way, you will be able to seat your customers, split checks, track order courses, and monitor the staff simultaneously.
Features and Capabilities
The different iPad point of sales systems are designed for different industries. As such, the suitability of any system will mainly depend on what it can actually do. A retail iPad POS system, for instance, will not have all the features you need in a restaurant.
When choosing the right iPad point of sale system, you should also consider the features it has to offer. Again, not all restaurants are alike. As such, the right POS feature suite will also depend on what you need in your business.
To help you choose the right set of features for your restaurants, here are some of the main restaurant features you may need to consider:
For additional capabilities, it is advisable to get a system that is can integrate with third-party POS services. For instance, you may need to integrate your system with QuickBooks for more advanced accounting features.
- Online Ordering
Almost all the leading restaurants in the country are accepting online orders; do not miss out on this opportunity. As such, your preferred iPad POS should be able to integrate seamlessly with your online ordering platform, preferably on your business website.
In addition to online orders, your preferred system should also allow your customers to make their reservations online. You may think of this feature as an additional revenue channel in the business.
- Floor/Table Management
Managing your restaurant will be much easier if you had a bird’s eye view of the entire establishment. To make this possible, some of the best iPad restaurant POS systems have a floor/table management capability.
With this feature, you will be able to map out the overall appearance of the restaurant and arrangement of tables and seats onto the POS. As such, you will find it easier to know which tables are occupied or assign servers to specific tables in the restaurant.
- Inventory Management
While most retail POS systems have this feature, restaurant POS systems have an inventory management feature with more industry-specific capabilities. For instance, the right iPad restaurant POS system will allow you to track your inventory up to the ingredients level.
Based on the available ingredients, your servers will be able to accept only the orders that can be prepared. With more advanced inventory management features, you will also be able to send purchase orders directly from the system, based on the available stock.
- Payment Processing Capabilities
When it comes to payment processing, you will realize that the various iPad restaurant POS systems are varied. So, how and what type of payments can your preferred system actually process? As you already know, a considerable number of consumers today are using credit and debit cards to pay for their orders.
In this regard, it is advisable to get a system that is capable of integrating with most card payment processors. Additionally, you also need to check whether the system allows you to use any payment processor you prefer or the provider limits you to specific processors.
You may also need to get a system that offers mobile payment options. This capability will allow you to accept payments from different mobile payment wallets. While at it, you should also ensure that your preferred system is compliant with NFC and EMV requirements for enhanced security.
This is something that a considerable number of restaurant owners overlooking while shopping for the right point of sale system. For most iPad restaurant POS systems, customer support is offered as part of your monthly subscription.
However, you need to gauge how good the customer support is offered by your preferred provider. As a rule of thumb, customer support should be reachable, reliable and helpful whenever you need it.
Our Final Verdict
While most of the best iPad restaurant POS systems available today appear to be alike, each has a unique set of benefits and downsides. As you may have realized, most of these systems offer standard features that are specifically designed for restaurants.
However, there are specific aspects that make each of them stand out. The choice of the right restaurant POS may be a daunting one; with this guide, it should be just a walk in the park.